Front squats

Are front squats bad for sprinters? If so why?

They arent suppose to hit the posterior chain as hard as back squats but plenty of athletes/football players still use them and I presume they use them along with posterior chain exercises such as dead lifts, good mornings, back hypers etc.

I am a real fan of front squats. Obviously maximum loads will be lower but this offers the benefits of decreasing both injury risk and CNS stress. I also feel that front squats require a strictness in movement pattern and demand / develop (I hate to say this) core stability. Lastly they’re also a safer option as the bar can easily be dumped and the athlete doesn’t have to rely on competent spotting.

The key word was “sprinters”, i think CF mention before the problem with front squats is you have to do more work to balance the quad to post chain.

Well both the hip and knee joints are still flexed through the full range of movement. I admit front squats will decrease hamstring activation -as that occurs most significantly when the hips are flexed with the knees held close to full extension. Actually, when squats are performed strictly they lead to less hamstring activation than when one allows the hips to rise in a powerlifting style. My athletes get enough hamstring stimulation however from cleans, GHR… and sprinting!

Thats great but what if the athlete dont perform cleans as in BJ an/or quad/hammy inbalance? I think front squats is a great lift but need to be prescribe carefully.


Another lift I like is snatch grip deadlifts with strict form. They definately hit the hamstrings (plus the upper back) but without the massive poundages possible with traditional deads.

Wouldnt good mornings best provide what the front squat doesnt?

yeh but you are now doing an additional movement bc of the fsq, when you could do sdl or bsq and be done.

why waste your time, keep the weight at the back… ciao

I dont back or front squat anymore, I sometimes deadlift. When I did front squat, it was very similar to my back squat, I notice a lot of other guys had larger margins. Your thoughts?

From my own personal experience the main difference is in maintaining thoracic spine extension with the front squat were as the back squat hit the lumbar erectors moreso. Can’t see much difference through the legs, hams and glutes.

I’m definitely a fan of front squat. Develops the quads nicely, and kind of “makes sure” your core is solid. If you have any weaknesses you’ll immediately know when front squatting. My experience is greater front squat poundage = better acceleration, in particular in the first few steps I always thought quad strength has an important effect to maintain good acceleration angles. Then again I’m not a sports specialist like others here, this is all from experience and observation under one training regimen.

I get far less glute/ham activation in a front squat compared to a back squat.